Orcas and humpback whales ~fabulous day on the water
What a great day we had and one of surprise and suspense. We headed out this morning without any report of orca sightings in the area and made our way initially through Weynton Passage and from there into Blackfish Sound via the Plumper Islands viewing harbour seals, bald eagles and dalls porpoises along the way. Our first humpback whale was sighted near Parsons Light and soon more were sighted including one that breached twice a distance away. Suddenly an orca was sighted swimming amongst two humpback whales taking everyone by surprise! It was wonderful and very exciting for everyone on board who could not believe what they were seeing, a lone orca who at first was a mystery (sighted from a distance away) but was later identified as A60 from the A23's; A60 was foraging near Flower Island mid-Strait in Blackfish Sound. After scanning the area well, other orcas were also seen and we enjoyed observing three orcas who were travelling close to each other and as we watched spellbound, some dynamic playful behaviour was observed. It was exciting viewing, watching orcas and also humpback whales feeding nearby. As the A23's and A25's (six orcas) made their way towards Blackney Passage and Johnstone Strait, we turned back and on our way home, near the Plumper Islands we encountered a very relaxed and curious stellar sea-lion who cruised by our drifting vessel (our engine was off at this time) to the delight of everyone. At the time of our viewing the sea-lion another humpback whale was also seen bringing our count of humpback whales to six today. Other species sighted: rhinoceros auklets+++, common murre, herring and glaucous-winged gulls.